THIS is the moment a Madeira bus crashed after toppling off a mountain road and into a house – leaving at least 29 people dead.
Horrific footage captured the white vehicle – carrying 55 people – hurtling down a steep hill on the Portuguese island of Madeira yesterday at 5.30pm GMT.
The coach appeared to completely turn over for a few seconds before landing on its side on a sharp bend near the small city of Canico.
Local MP Roberto Almada said the area of the crash is an “accident blackspot.”
He said: “Before the spot where the coach went off the road, there’s a very sharp bend that goes from west to east and there’s been many accidents there in the past.
“It’s a very difficult area for drivers, especially drivers of larger vehicles.”
‘I HAVE NO WORDS’
The death toll climbed to 29 overnight, with another 28 people left injured.
All the tourists on the bus were said to be German nationals.
Officials launched an inquiry into the accident, with some investigators believing the coach’s brakes could have failed before the crash.
Local Mayor Filipe Sousa told local Portuguese broadcaster SIC TV yesterday: “I have no words to describe what happened.
“I cannot face the suffering of these people.”
‘DIFFICULT AREA FOR DRIVERS’
Mr Sousa added that some pedestrians may have been hit by the bus as it careered off the road.
Dramatic pictures from the scene show an overturned white bus surrounded by firefighters.
SIC reports that there were 19 ambulances at the scene of the deadly smash.
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The coach was heading to the island’s capital of Funchal and was carrying 55 passengers along with the tourist guide and driver – who are both Portuguese.
Following the bus crash, the UK Foreign Office said it was “seeking information” from Portuguese authorities and is ready to support any British nationals who require help.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa sent a message of condolences to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
A regional civil protection official said the tourists involved in the accident were aged between 40 and 50 years old.
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